It is very vital for learners, professional writers, journalists and even professors to know how plagiarism can be avoided. Regardless of whether you are writing an assignment, a blog post, a newspaper article or a magazine, theft of ideas is an academic offense and should be avoided at all costs. Copying someone’s work and pasting it can be precarious but with the knowledge of how to navigate using the ideas presented in this article, you can be sure to reduce your overall risk of being found guilty of conscious or unconscious plagiarism.
What are the ways that can help reduce instances of plagiarism?
Read on to find out what we recommend for learners, professional writers and professors when it comes to borrowing the works of others.
- Identify the source clearly. While mentioning the source in which your information has been borrowed, it is very necessary that the writer also identifies clearly who the author of that particular source is. It is not enough just to mention the source, but the citation is made complete when the author of the specific source is also mentioned. It is very common to find ideas that have been paraphrased or revised by a different author who also borrowed from another writer. If you come across this case, remember that it is always a rule that you state the name of both authors. One of the ways plagiarism occurs is when writers fail to give credit to the authors of information. To avoid this, make sure the source and author of that data are mentioned clearly in your paper. Doing this becomes a clear way to avoid plagiarism.
- Learn how to paraphrase properly. Paraphrasing means using another person’s ideas but writing them in your own words. Paraphrasing simply shows your audience that you have the ability to properly combine another person’s ideas with your own and deliver a standing opinion. Other than having the ability to make a standing argument from another person’s ideas, paraphrasing makes it clear to your audience that there are many other ideologists who agree with the argument presented in that study. Paraphrasing also ensures your paper flows smoothly with ideas. Paraphrasing is typically the same length as the original document but the wording is different. This means that the paraphrase of a two-page article would be a two page. The trick behind paraphrasing is making sure that the wordings are different and avoid using the same length of sentences as the original source. Before you paraphrase, you can choose to read the document, understand it and then from what you comprehended write down those ideas in your words.
- There is a myth that paraphrasing is done to escape the use of direct quotations in a paper. You can be sure to use direct quotations from the source even after paraphrasing. Another myth with paraphrasing is that one has to rely on other sources before they can design an outstanding idea. All of these are myths, paraphrasing can be used with quotes and just one source. However, students and writers should also remember that paraphrasing is not the simple changing of words or using synonyms but rather changing the original text. Using your own words and your own sentences construction is paraphrasing. Also, remember that citation is needed because these are not your original words.
- Identify sources that are credible and reliable. Research is a daunting activity not because one needs to peruse through a lot of documents to gather data but also because you need as many sources to support your research. The most important area in a paper is the citation and the reference section. In as much as one has found the many sources needed for his paper, it is possible that those sources might not be relied upon to give credible data. There are certain data from those sources that are not credible. This is common when using sources from the internet and writers are encouraged to always take caution when using websites. Websites should be evaluated thoroughly before the writer decides to use them. When citing, details such as the date of publication, the name of the author, the publisher and the link to which the information is from must be included. Apart from checking for all these things from a source, a writer should also observe the quality of stand, arguments and writing in a source in order to prove whether it is credible and reliable. Other hints such as having the author of that material borrow from other sources could help tell whether an article can be relied upon. Once you have passed these categories and standards of citing, there is a great chance that the material you are about to use is reliable.
- Another way to avoid plagiarism is to give a summary. Students are not familiar with this version but this does not mean the point is not clear. A summary is basically a condensed version of the arguments of an original author. Giving a summary of a document shows your understanding of the article and ultimately helps you to avoid plagiarism.
Additional Ways on how to avoid plagiarism from Students by a Teacher
In first 5 ways, there have been definitions of the word plagiarism and instruction on how one can avoid reusing intellectual materials of others as a way to avoid plagiarism. Below is a continuation of the helpful tools that can help you avoid plagiarism;
- Insist on draft presentation. Before learners begin their writing tasks, be sure to let them know that before the final development, a draft is expected. As they bring their drafts to you, be sure to browse through it and be certain that what they have presented as a draft is original. Requiring students to submit drafts every now and them could make them think that there is so much time to accomplish a particular assignment and thus take time to find and build on other people’s ideas. Once the draft has been submitted, be sure to write comments about what they have presented and ask them to revise and submit again and this way you will be able to check if what was asked of them has been done. This process is helpful because instructors will be sure to see immediate improvements in students work before the final paper.
- Narrow down a topic to a particular subject. With the easy nature of finding information online, learners can always copy-paste instructions and find similar papers online. However, narrowing down the topic to a specific subject could be a sure way to make them stay away from plagiarism. Narrowing down the topic decreases the probability of finding a similar paper online. In doing this, you can be sure that students will not strain to express what they truly wanted for any assignment. Narrowing down the topic is also a useful way to make learners consult with you before attempting a paper. As an instructor, you can also plan for a meeting with your students.
- Make it a requirement that they answer questions verbally. Before asking learners to take up particular assignments, another way to make sure plagiarism does not occur is to ask them to answer questions verbally regarding how they will be submitting their work. Be sure to note down all answers from students and check if what has been submitted is actually what they had planned to do. Other than that, asking learners to answer questions orally would make them comfortable with their research and make them familiarize with the process of coming up with brilliant ideas that would contribute to their paper.
- Insist of annotation of bibliography that has a personal touch. Make your students learn to make brief annotations and in a concise manner that puts together all sources and an explanation to each. Before giving this instruction, teachers should take into consideration that this kind of annotation should not be placed in a way in which learners will simply copy whatever has been written on sources and be able to get away with it. An annotation in this manner should be written in a way to have its base on what students have understood. This could mean, they have to present writing in their own style.
- Device an alternative of draft submission. Other than having learners submit drafts or respond to questions verbally, instructors could also come up with another way that requires students to submit assignments. For instance, you can ask students to submit a page or a paragraph of what they have done so far as you continue to grade the process. alternatively, you can ask students to write how they were able to gather information to be used for that research. Apart from submitting the paper, you can also ask students to narrate what they went through when writing the research, how they found sources for their papers and how the writing process was significant to them.
- Have the work brief and insist on sensibility. Anytime instructors give lengthy developments, they are attracting submission of plagiarized work. Essentially, you should let your students know that what they should submit as end developments should be brief and on point so that they do not take so much time looking for sources to use.
- References should be recent. Another way to avoid plagiarism well is by insisting that the reference section and in-text citation should be recent. Relying on sources that were developed long time ago is a recipe of plagiarism because the information from those sources may no longer make sense to what we experience in the present. Therefore, learners should also make it a point to use sources that are recent with significance to their research.
Many people assume that plagiarism is all about copying the ideas of others and presenting them without credit. But from the many ways of avoiding plagiarism discussed above, intellectual theft is more than just copy pasting. In addition to copying the ideas of others, plagiarism is also using sources that no longer apply to the present or failing to cite properly. Students should note that the responsibility to avoid plagiarism lies heavier on their side and they should take the initiative to find out how intellectual theft can be avoided.